Jr. Hornets, Redmen, Panthers all earn share of MSOVC title
The Coal Grove Jr. Hornets defeated rival Rock Hill 16-8 to gain a share of the 2007 MSOVC Crown. Coal Grove will share the title with Rock Hill and Chesapeake. It is the 17th league championship and third in a row for the Hornets.
With one league loss on their record, the Hornets were faced with a must-win against the favored Redmen.
Rock Hill had no league losses, had already guaranteed itself of at least a tie for the championship and had come into the game averaging over 30 points per game.
But somebody forgot to tell the Hornets that they were supposed to lose. In fact, they refused to lose.
Coal Grove would put points on the board on their first possession with a 10-play, 51-yard drive as T.J. Barrett completed a 21-yard scoring pass to his favorite receiver Shawn Morrison on a fourth down-and-12 situation.
Barrett connected with Greg Bender for the two-point conversion to give the Hornets an early 8-0 lead.
The drive was set up by Bender when he stripped the ball away from a Rock Hill lineman who had just recovered a Redmen fumble and had rumbled 15 yards to the Hornet 40-yard line when Bender took the ball away from him and returned it to the Hornet 49.
The Redmen answered by putting together an impressive 14-play, 65-yard scoring drive. Chris Littlejohn did the honors of crossing the goal line with an illusive 10-yard touchdown run. Will McCollister threw for the two-point conversion to tie the score at 8-8.
The third quarter saw both defenses shine as Rock Hill punted twice and Coal Grove punted once. The Hornets did manage a drive that was stopped by an unyielding Rock Hill defenses at the Redmen 12-yard line. Rock Hill moved the ball out to their own 43-yard line before they were forced to punt again.
A nice return by Aaron Conley put the ball on the Coal Grove 45-yard line to set the stage for the winning drive with 4:36 seconds remaining.
The drive was led by Bender as he carried the ball on every play moving the Hornets to the Rock Hill 17-yard line. Following a penalty and a 2-yard loss the Hornets were faced with a second-and-17 at the Rock Hill 24 yard line.
Bender ran a sweep to his right only to pull up at the last second and loft a perfect halfback pass to Shawn Morrison in the back corner of the end zone with 53 seconds left. Bender added the two-point conversion giving the Hornets a 16-8 lead and the victory.
The Hornets’ were led by Bender with 90 yards on 18 carries, a touchdown pass and both two-point conversions. Barrett completed 3 of 6 passes for a touchdown and a two-point conversion.
Bender finished the season with 956 yards rushing behind the offensive line of center, Elijah Ford, guards, Eric Fields, Joe Colley and James Suttles, tackles, Austin Cochran, Colton Bryant and Austin Clark and ends Shawn Morrison, Jacob Pauley and Jacob Bocook.
The Grove rushed for 103 yards and passed for 56 yards.
The Black Attack Defense of Coach Layne Wireman was led by Kyle Estep with 10 tackles and Bender with nine as the Hornets held the Redmen to 113 yards rushing and the secondary of Alex Bare, Aaron Conley and Bryan Steele meet the challenge of holding one of the areas best passing attacks to a dismal 3 of 16 for only 26 yards.
The Hornets finish the season at 6-1 and 3-1 in MSOVC play, while Rock Hill drops to 4-2 and will take on Wheelersburg this week.